Starting Your AOM Practice

9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (8 CEUs pending)

For more information, please email us at:

This class is designed to help senior students, pre-licensed grads, and recently-licensed acupuncturists get their AOM practices up and running successfully. A realistic assessment of priorities, challenges, and resources can help you avoid common pitfalls and make critical decisions regarding further training and specialization; start-up strategies and logistics; your practice model and location; business planning, including financing, fee-setting, appointment schedules, and whether to join and bill insurance networks; practice management essentials; and strategic referral-building and marketing. Participants will receive a “starter kit” of sample spreadsheets, clinic operating procedures, and marketing and educational materials that can be customized to different practice models. Taking this class will help you plan for safety, success and sustainability in your AOM Practice.

Course Content:

Self-assessment: key issues and questions to keep asking

  • What and why: spirit, vision, mission, values and intentions

  • What and when: specific and real needs, goals, priorities, timelines/deadlines

  • Who are you and who are they: your self-identity and mutual attraction population of patients, providers and conditions

  • Where: assessing and choosing community/environment/location, macro- and micro-

  • How: what resources do you have, how will you access what you need

  • Developing your practice “model”


Further education and training: strategic prioritization

  • Degrees, licenses and board specialty programs

  • Continuing and complementary education

  • Apprenticeships vs. exploitation


Essentials and strategies for starting to practice

  • Legal and insurance requirements: don’t start without these!

  • Methods of getting started: subbing; home visits; home office; leasing rooms vs. master lease; practice purchase.


Business planning

  • Assessing and financing your essential start-up costs

  • Fee-setting, length of visits, and your appointment schedule

  • Break-even analysis: how many visits/day will you need to make ends meet?

  • Bookkeeping, tax and budgeting basics

  • Practice analysis: what to track


Insurance, billing and collections basics

  • DIY billing systems vs. contracting out

  • Understanding managed care: to join or not to join?

  • Work Comp and personal injury

  • Laws, ethics, and reputation (“good will”)


Practice management essentials

  • Practice management and health records: choosing and developing systems

  • Risk management, documentation essentials, and malpractice defensibility

  • Patient communication systems; phone, web-based, etc.

  • Customer service and reception skills

  • Clinic policies, operating procedures, and scripts


Ethical patient attraction and retention: doing well by doing good

  • Optimizing patient experience and internal marketing: treatment plans, outcome assessments, soliciting feedback, and follow-up communication

  • Referral-building strategies and marketing yourself to professionals

  • Basics of external marketing and webvertising: dos and don’ts


*Note: this class will be accepted as credit towards Certification in Integrative Acupuncture Physical Medicine (in place of Module 12: Practice Management).*